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South Park Group Wants To Block Target From San Diego Neighborhood

Photo credit: Associated Press

This Dec. 19, 2013, file photo shows a Target retail chain logo on the exterior of a Target store in Watertown, Mass.

Target plans to put a mini-store in South Park, but opponents say it will ruin the character of the neighborhood and are circulating a petition to keep it out.

A plan by the owners of a local grocery store to lease the building to Target has sparked a dispute in San Diego's South Park neighborhood, and a group opposed to locating the chain store there is circulating a petition to keep it out.

Gala Foods put its location on the market in December. Part-owner Saad Hirmez said Target was selected because the company's mini-store, TargetExpress, would fit the community. He said the store will include fresh produce, a pharmacy and other essentials.

“It’s a new concept that Target is unveiling, and we felt — well, they felt — that this fits their demographics and would be a great location, and we agreed with them," Hirmez said. "And therefore, that’s why we entered into a lease with them."

Located a few blocks away, Joe Grant of Grant’s Marketplace doesn’t feel the same way.

“I prefer, I strongly prefer, our community keeps its character of locally owned businesses," he said. "So I’m opposed to a great big market like Target moving into the neighborhood.”

Some San Diegans in the area shared Grant’s feelings and created the group Save South Park SD to spread their message. Grant is not a part of the group, which began circulating a petition this month calling on City Council President Todd Gloria to keep big box stores out of the neighborhood.

Gloria represents the area, but a spokeswoman from his office said the decision would likely be out of the councilman’s hands.

A member of Save South Park did not want to speak publicly until it had chosen a spokesperson.

Hirmez said Target's lease begins Nov. 1, and the store is expected to open in July.

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